Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Shut it Down? Shut the Fuck Up

The essence of this issue is probably familiar enough to anyone who has worked at all in IT, or even helped a relative with some computer-related issue. Unsurprisingly, herein it has been taken the Nth degree.

I have arrived in to discover my computer is a bit fucked. Just that non-specific kind of fucked that is the Joy of Windows. Our computers are left on 24/7 because during non-business hours the (remote) IT staff do... whatever is they do. I can't really say since we don't run any software beyond e-mail (ooh, it's a lie... I have spreadsheets... but keep it quiet, such things are frowned upon in here) . But anyway the poor bastard of a thing needs reset, so I do this, and sit back to wait for it.

The Boss : "Why are you sitting there doing nothing?"

Here's me : "Had to reset the computer."

The Boss, apparently shocked : "You're not supposed to turn it off!"

Here's me : "Wasn't much choice. I don't think it'll be a problem, like."

The Boss : "It's your own fault anyway."

Now. What the fuck?

Some people, smarter, wiser, better people, at this stage would just say to themselves, internally 'Aye' (or 'whatever', or 'yeah right' or whatsoever your local equivalent may be) and let the matter rest there, but sadly I have all my life been the kind of koala who cannot resist probing the loose tooth, from stirring the hornet's nest if you will. And at times, I will confide this, I feel tested, sorely tested.

Here's me, actually turning round 90' to make eye contact for a change : "Now. Tell me. Explain. Why would that be my fault?"

The Boss : "You don't turn it off at night."

Incredulous, I am. Petulant, I become.

Here's me : "We're not supposed to turn them off at night. You just told me we're not supposed to turn them off. You just said that. Just now."

The Boss : "You're not supposed to turn it right off. But you should shut it down."

Here's me : "Shut it down without turning it off?"

Does she shut down the PC but leave the power supply connected to the wall thinking the IT department can sneak in through the mains supply? Does she?

The Boss, sagely : "On the computer. You should shut it down there."

Here's me : "As opposed to?"

The Boss : "On the hard drive."


Here's me, coming the innocent : "So should I shut it down at night?"

The Boss, pleased at having the reins for once : "Yes. But just shut down the computer, not the hard drive."

She demonstrates by pressing the on/off switch on the monitor that sits in front of her.

Here's me : "Ah. Right. OK."

The Boss : "Ha ha, SEE you don't know everything!"


  1. Thank fuck you are back!

    And a lovely story to come back to - Theboss had you there should have turned the screen off each night, as someone who works in I.T - I can tell you that this ensures that your computer will always, without fail, work perfectly until the end of days.

  2. hello there,
    took me 2 hours to read your entire blog,
    and i want more...
    thank you for helping me through a boring day in the office.

  3. i second what david said. that's always the first thing i ask people to do when they're computers are running kind of slow or funny. reboot the display. works 99.999% of the time.

  4. You folks inspired me on this one - this morning I asked The Boss if she was shutting her mouse down in the evenings. The resulting confusion can be deemed A Small Victory.

  5. This is hilarious. Ah.. we've all been in similar situations, but yours is well shared.